Using Art, Music and Poetry in Our Prayer

Yesterday was the second session of the four week fall series I’m giving at St. Edward’s parish on prayer. The idea of the series, which I’ve offered in different forms in the past, is to expose the participants to forms of prayer that might be new to them. Last week, I talked about Ignatian Contemplation and the participants spent the week, engaging in that form of prayer.

Our subject yesterday was praying with poetry, art and music. I spoke about the ability of these media to evoke an affective response in us that helps us deepen our appreciation of God’s unconditional and boundless love for us. After my talk, participants prayed with either a piece of poetry of an image from among those I provided.

During our sharing afterward, I was struck, as I always am during programs that address this subject, by the depth of the prayer experience of those who were there. For many, this was a new form of prayer. But all responded at a very deep level to the material they prayed with.

If you have not before used poetry, art or music as part of your prayer, I strongly encourage you to do so. Although I did not record my talk yesterday, I have previously posted both a podcast of a talk on this subject and some prayer material. You can find them here.